Last week we were all finally presented with the verdict of the John Edwards trial regarding alleged campaign funds used to cover up his 2007 affair with a former campaign worker, Rielle Hunter, while his wife was dying of breast cancer. Just by writing that sentence I am reminded of how much I dislike Edwards in the first place. It’s one thing to cheat, but its another thing to do it while your wife is diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Along with the loss of a presidential nomination, a child was an outcome of this affair. Once the news came out, Edwards denied the child as his own, but eventually came out with the truth that he is the father in 2010.
Looking at Edwards’ past, I’d say he wasn’t the most honest or sincere person, so faced with the recent trial, I had a feeling justice wouldn’t be served.
Edwards was indicted on six felony charges including four counts of collecting and using illegal campaign funds, one count of conspiracy, and one count of making false statements. If he were to be found guilty, the ultimate potential outcome of the trial would be 30 years jail time and a $1.5 million fine.
On Thursday, May 31, the twelve assigned jurors found Edwards not guilty on one charge of using illegal campaign funding for personal reasons. A mistrial was called on all other counts against him.
In my opinion, this is exactly why people despise politicians. They lie and cheat, and do whatever they can to make sure their next election is secure. In almost every recent campaign or election season, there has been some sort of scandal regarding a nominee, and sadly, it has become a pattern in regards to secret affairs. What is so terribly difficult for these politicians to remain faithful to their relationships and their word?
Testimony was presented by numerous witnesses of Edwards’ former 2008 campaign blatantly saying how Edwards used them to cover up the affair. The prosecution tried to prove that Edwards knew about the money being transferred to Hunter by Edwards’s former aide Andrew Young (who published a book saying Edwards begged him to take responsibly for the child, which for the time being he did). The defense tried to argue that Edwards did not know he was violating campaign finance laws and that being a liar wasn’t enough to be convicted.
Apparently the jury sided somewhat with the defense. Letting Edwards walk out of the court room a free man. Don’t get me wrong I love our court system and respect it fully, but when people considered to be public figures continuously break the law and get acquitted, it suggests injustice in the system. We may never know the truth about this case or what more the jurors wanted to be presented. I guess we will just have to wait for the twelve of them to publish memoir books about it!